Kuala Lumpur - Australia, which has expressed its readiness to help Southeast Asian nations in their war against terror, has signed two treaties with Malaysia to boost cooperation in combating transnational and organised crimes. The treaties will enable the countries to work together to check money-laundering, the lifeblood of global terrorist activities.
The treaties on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters and on Extradition were signed on Nov 15 by Malaysian Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail andAustralia's Justice and Customs Minister, Mr Christopher Ellison.
The treaties were concluded after two rounds of negotiations - in December and June. Mr Ellison described the speed at which agreement was reached as a "record" for Australia.
Mr Abdul Gani said: "The speedy conclusion of not one but two very important treaties in a short time is testament to the commitment and political will of both governments to enhance bilateral cooperation to combat transnational crime and deny safe haven to criminals."
Under the Mutual Assistance Treaty, the two countries will help each other in areas such as the identification and location of persons; the provisions of relevant documents and records; and making arrangements for the attendance of witness in the other country to assist in investigations or to give evidence.
The Extradition Treaty is meant to facilitate the arrest and surrender of fugitive offenders between Malaysia and Australia.
Mr Ellison said the two treaties would be instrumental in Australia's fight against organised crime and terrorism. "The scourge of drugs, just like terrorism, is borderless. No one country can do it on its own.
"Australia is totally committed in the fight against terrorism and transnational crime. We want to work with our neighbours in the region.''
* Treaties testament to anti-terror fight (The Star, Nov 16)
* M'sia, Australia ink treaties to fight organised crime, terrorism (Bernama, Nov 15)